Sixteen weeks later…

Last Saturday, February 3rd, was my last official check-in with my trainer, Tate, and marked the completion of my first sixteen weeks following the nutritional and fitness protocol he designed for me.  Even though this first session spanned the entire holiday season (and its many food-related celebrations), I was still able to lose 24.6 pounds from October 15th, 2012 to February 3rd, 2013.

  Let’s celebrate with some before and after pictures!

September 2012, Vacation in D.C.

September 2012, Vacation in D.C.

February 6th, 2013

February 6th, 2013

But, I must say, these are the moments I wish I had started this blog sooner.

For a person (me) that is completely OCD about doing things in proper order (reading books, watching tv series, etc.), I’m finding it very hard to reflect on the past sixteen weeks because I’m worried that I’ll miss a crucial feeling or breakthrough that describes what the experience has been like for me.  My one comfort is that I still have a very long way to go and I’m positive I will experience a wide range of emotions before reaching my goal.  My journey is far from over! 🙂

Right now, I do remember how hopeless I was feeling before I started this plan.  As stated in a previous post, nothing seemed to be working.  I would look in the mirror or see picture of myself and think: That’s not what I feel like on the inside.  That person isn’t me. Anyone else out there who’s felt like this?

I did recently find a list I made for myself in early October.

The first thing that appears is a catalog of my habits pre-plan.  These include: riding a few times a week and visiting the gym for 20-40 mins of cardio 1-3 times per week.  Not bad.

I also wrote down what I was typically eating, and that was generally coffee with cream and sugar for breakfast (I HATE eating breakfast), eating lunch at 2pm when I finally made myself step away from my desk (and lunch would be restaurant food or something quick, like ramen noodles), then eating a large dinner of pasta or take out because, by the time I came home, I was so hungry I wouldn’t hold back. Yeah, I love fruit and veggies and ate them, but I was eating all the bad stuff, too. At the time, I didn’t feel like I was eating terrible food constantly, but, looking back on that list, it’s fairly obvious I was not eating properly.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve discovered one major reason proper nutrition is a common “fail”: eating correctly takes precious time. To succeed, one must plan, prepare, and pack! I can’t go to work without my meals because it sets me up for failure. I must take the time to cook meat, chop veggies, and wash fruit – not to mention make grocery lists and be sure to have the right foods in the house. It’s in that moment where there’s “nothing to eat” that hunger and cravings take over and the plan goes right out the window.  To succeed in nutrition, food has to be made a priority. (To me, this in itself is an interesting thought.  I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with food and this plan really made me think about food more.  More, but smarter.)

The other thing I discovered on this paper was a list of feelings I would not miss and a list of those things I looked forward to.  The “won’t miss” included things like: feeling overstuffed at night, wearing an XXL work uniform, and spending too much money at restaurants. The “look forward to” was: wearing jeans again, going running with the dogs, wearing cute summer clothes, having more energy, and fitting into my breeches again! I’m happy to report that a few of those things have happened and I’m on my way to achieving the others.

It’s nice to reflect on where I was and realize that I’m happy with how these first sixteen weeks have gone.  I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I can celebrate those already-accomplished goals.

For now, I’m sans trainer for two more weeks.  On February 23rd I plan to start up for my second sixteen week session and I’m positive there will be plenty of ups and downs, revelations and insights, to share with you.

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